The RECON 2020 Schedule

We’ve been pouring ourselves into planning RECON 2020. We’ve announced a few speakers already (here and here) with more to come over the next few weeks.

RECON eye & penrose triangle logo.

The Schedule

We’re excited to show you the structure of RECON. We’ve designed a schedule that differs from previous industry events.

The schedule for the Reality Escape Convention

Why This Structure?

Typical Conventions

At a good convention, you walk away from the first session feeling inspired. You’re looking forward to going home and using your newfound knowledge. Then you go to a few more sessions and overdose on inspiration. After lunch, you can barely remember what inspired you back in the first session.

This is because most conventions are one-directional, like a classroom. They don’t provide attendees with an opportunity to truly engage with the ideas or each other.

At a week-long convention, you just hope that one or two speakers inspires anything in you.

The RECON Approach

We’ve designed RECON as an immersive event in its own right.

We are carefully selecting speakers, working with them to hone the presentations, and then ensuring that each session has time to breathe.

We’re planning the time in between the sessions too. This time is structured to help you reflect on what the message of the talk means to you, your creations, and your business.

At RECON, the speaker sessions will be followed by with table discussions. With these randomly-assigned, facilitated, small-group conversations, RECON will provide more than networking opportunities. We aim to give our attendees the tools that they need to get to know one another – creating space for serendipity – and enabling attendees to engage far deeper with one another and the subject matter of the session than we’ve ever seen before.

After years of speaking at more than a dozen conferences in 6 countries, we’ve learned from the strengths and weaknesses of each one. We’re building RECON as the convention we’d like to attend.

Get Your Tickets Today

Tickets are selling.

If you want to join this community, please act now.

RECON won’t be a massive event; attendance is capped. We are seeking creators and business owners who want to shepherd escape rooms and immersive games into the next decade.

We aren’t just putting on an event. We’re building a community.

Visit RealityEscapeCon.com to secure your ticket.

Boxed Escape Rooms at NY Toy Fair

We have some great news from New York Toy Fair!

This is a strange event: it’s a massive convention center full of toys… and no children anywhere in sight!

At New York Toy Fair, retailers and distributors promote all their latest products and those soon to be released. This is an industry-only event, held in the New York Javits Center, with booths spanning two floors.

Exit The Game's new 2020 products.

Toy Fair 2020

This year – our fourth year attending New York Toy Fair – we were excited by the variety of offerings coming soon to the play-at-home escape room market. Moreover, in our conversations with the vendors, we were impressed by a dedication to quality products.

ravensburger's new escape puzzles.

We learned what’s new on the market and coming soon in 2020 from many of our favorite tabletop escape room brands:

… and many more.

A life sized Dog Crimes from Thinkfun.

Learn the Details

If you’re interested in what’s coming soon in tabletop escape games, we shared more details with our Patreon backers in our Toy Fair Video Hot Take.

2020 Events

We’re looking forward to the escape room and immersive industry events of 2020. We’ll be sharing our reports, reactions, and analyses of these events – written and video – with our Patreon backers.

HERE

Next up: We’ll be attending HERE Summit & Festival in Pasadena, CA, where we will be moderating a panel of escape room creators.

HERE is a 3-day event bringing together the trades of embodied experience design, weaving together practices and creators working in immersive theater, mixed reality, game design, theme parks, and escape rooms.

When you support us through Patreon at $5 per month or more, you’ll receive a peek at HERE from the Room Escape Artist perspective.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

Sold Out Tour & Extension Open

Sold Out

The original set of tickets to Escape Immerse Explore: The Hayden Farm is SOLD OUT.

This tour was so popular that it sold out in 6 weeks.

Tour Extension

But there is good news! We worked with 13th Hour Escape Rooms to open up a few more spots on this tour. These extra tickets are now available for purchase.

These are the final tickets available for this tour. It is not feasible to add another extension.

We hope that you’ll join us on this adventure.

Details

  • Sunday, April 5, 2020
  • 13th Hour Escape Rooms in Wharton, New Jersey

Tour Includes

  • 4 escape rooms
  • Bus transportation to 13th Hour Escape Rooms from Manhattan, NY
  • A day with Lisa and David as escape room guides
  • A talk by Lisa and David
  • A catered meal
  • Networking with other Explorers
  • Event t-shirt
  • Teammates who are as excited about this trip as you are!
  • … and surprises! Always surprises.

Join the Group

13th Hour Escape Rooms is consistently a favorite among locals and visitors who can make the journey to Wharton, New Jersey. We’ve loved their games and awarded them multiple Golden Lock Awards: The Great Room (2017) & The Grand Parlor (2018).

Many folks in NYC (locals & visitors) can’t figure out how to make a trip to 13th Hour logistically viable. We figured we’d solve this problem by throwing a bus at it.

The tour group includes locals from New York and New Jersey as well as escape room players who are traveling across the country for this event. It’s going to be a wonderful group of players.

We hope you’ll join us!

Our goal with this tour is to make these outstanding games accessible to players who will love them. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re considering grabbing one of these last few tickets, but have questions or concerns.

Overhauled: NYC Escape Room Recommendations Guide

Earlier this week we published a significant update to our New York City Recommendations Guide.

Stylized New York City skyline.

Last year the New York City market faced a crisis when the New York City Fire Department began a series of surprise inspections and shut down many of our local escape rooms.

We these support safety measures. It’s important that the consumers are safe, and feel safe, playing these games. As our 2019 Safety Report demonstrated, escape rooms are a broadly safe activity.

In New York City, however, the inspections were handled rather chaotically. Because of this some companies are still closed, some will never open again, and many were shut down for the better part of a year. All the while, the FDNY would not share what standards they were holding these companies to. We asked multiple times, through multiple channels.

It feels like things have stabilized, so we felt comfortable putting together a total overhaul of our local guide.

That said, all is not resolved. There are some stellar New York City companies that have not yet reopened. They are struggling through bureaucratic hell. We hope they will open their doors again soon, and join this recommendations guide.

Check out our updated guide: New York City Recommendations Guide

Escape Rooms & Survivor Season 40 [Podcast]

Prior to Survivor Season 39 I sat down with former Survivor contestants and escape room fans Peih-Gee Law and Anthony Robinson (also of No Proscenium) to discuss the upcoming season and talk about escape rooms.

With the start of Season 40 on the horizon (ok, now 1 episode in), we recorded another conversation in the same vain.

We talked the messiness that was Season 39… and we dug into what’s happening in the “all winners” Season 40… and we talked escape rooms/ Survivors playing escape rooms.

No Proscenium – Episode 236 – 20 Years of Survivor

Survivor Season 40 Winners at War logo

Timestamps

  • 0:00 – Housekeeping
  • 7:15 – Anthony introduces the episode
  • 8:40 – Introductions of Peih-Gee and David
  • 10:00 – What has David been up to since last podcast with Anthony + what are escape room tours?
  • 14:27 – What has Peih-Gee been up to since the last podcast?
  • 16:25 – How selling jewelry is like playing Survivor
  • 19:00 – What escape rooms have Peih-Gee and Anthony played recently that they liked?
  • 22:36 – David praises Doldrick’s Escape Room in Orlando, FL
  • 23:35 – Peih-Gee chats playing an escape room with other Survivor players for charity
  • 27:00 – Talking the most escape rooms ever in 24 hours + how many could you play in a row?
  • 29:15 – Peih-Gee talks longer-format weekend-immersive games
  • 31:35 – The ugliness of Survivor season 39
  • 36:45 – Peih-Gee talks how her time playing compares to the season 39 situation
  • 40:25 – Other dark times in Survivor history
  • 45:48 – Using bullying and negativity as a game tactic
  • 48:45 – Survivor season 40 initial thoughts
  • 50:00 – Survivor season 40 winner picks + who would you go after first?
  • 54:10 – Preexisting relationships + how much pregaming happens?
  • 58:15 – Getting back to season 40 winner picks – dark horses
  • 1:03:10 – More season 40 winner picks – bigger threats
  • 1:10:45 – Talking fire tokens and edge of extinction
  • 1:14:00 – What Survivor challenges do you want to see again?
  • 1:18:15 – The classic Survivor family visit
  • 1:20:10 – Last thoughts on season 40
  • 1:20:45 – What are Peih-Gee and Anthony eager to play?
  • 1:23:40 – Closing housekeeping

Thank you to REA reader and Survivor fan Greg Marinelli for the timestamps.